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The Water Project : 9-kenya4736-collapsing-latrine
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The Water Project : 1-kenya4736-lukoye-spring

Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 385 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed):

When you watch Kenyan television and read the news of how people from the northeast are dying because of water shortage because of our severe dry season, it burdens my heart. Moving down to our western province, people have water. But they are suffering as a result of consuming lots of unclean and unsafe water that is always available. We have taken up the challenge to protect springs, ensuring people have access to clean and safe drinking water.

Welcome to the Community

The major economic activity in Lutali Community is planting sugarcane. But in this community, women are primarily responsible for hard work on their sugarcane plantations. This community culture directs any earnings straight to the husband, and every time their wives harvest the crop, the husbands often disappear for a period of time and procure a second wife. This often leaves the first wife in poverty.

Women here wake up early to undertake morning activities that include going to fetch water from the spring, preparing the children to go to school, and weeding and planting the sugarcane.

Water Situation

Lukoye Spring serves 385 people from 55 different households. The water is used for purposes like drinking, cooking, washing, and watering. During the dry months when it doesn’t rain, farmers use this water for their sugarcane and other vegetables.

Beneficiaries also report that Lukoye Spring gets terribly crowded during these dry months. Not only do farmers need to draw extra water for their farms, but people from other villages make the long walk to Lukoye Spring. While their water sources dry up, Lukoye Spring keeps flowing with water.

Though there is plenty of water at Lukoye Spring, the water is not fit for consumption. It is open to contaminants that are carried by wild animals, rainwater, and even the containers that people dunk in the water.

After drinking this water, people suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

The standards of sanitation and hygiene here are quite wanting, as most of the people lack proper latrines, bathing rooms, clotheslines and dish racks. The latrines observed are poorly constructed and pose danger to their users. For example, the floors over the pit are wearing away and could collapse at any moment. It is not uncommon to hear stories of how a person fell through the floor to injury or death. Because of these poor conditions, people prefer to relieve themselves in the privacy of bushes. Leaving their waste in the open like this jeopardizes the health of the rest of the community, as waste is easily spread by flies and other wild animals.

There were only a couple of containers found outside of latrines that are used for hand-washing. Nobody we spoke with was able to explain the importance of having a hand-washing station or when to use it.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrine floors.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Plans: Spring Protection

Mr. Lukoye is the landowner whom the spring is named after. He said, “Poverty is indeed a thorn in our flesh, and thus without proper assistance from well wishers like you, people die premature deaths before they accomplish their goals in life. People in this community have suffered for a long time due to lack of clean and safe water, their health has really deteriorated leading to underdevelopment in the area.”

Protecting the spring will ensure that its water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will therefore help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Recent Project Updates

11/29/2017: Lutali Community Project Complete

Lukoye Spring in Lutali Community, Kenya is now a protected, clean source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen!  Now, want to do a bit more? Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this spring protection and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to check them out! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

We worked with the village elder to organize hygiene and sanitation training. He commissioned a few young men to go house to house inviting everyone to attend. 19 people ended up meeting us in an open field near the spring, which provided additional motivation: people were excited to see the spring as the artisan completed construction.

Training participants posing for a picture together.

Two of our facilitators covered several topics, including leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many others.

Demonstrations were some of the most popular parts of the training, with participants enjoying getting their hands involved. We did this with hand-washing, teaching the 10 steps of washing with soap and running water. Since we were already at the spring, we were able to teach about proper spring use, management, and simple maintenance.

The trainer taking participants through the 10 steps of hand-washing.

Mr. Peter Obayo said, “We are very grateful for this program. You have told us things that we have been taking for granted. From today our lives will change; we shall improve on the levels of hygiene in our homes and take good care of this spring so that even our great grandchildren may benefit from it. May God bless whoever came with this idea, and may live long to help people in other places as well.”

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

Beneficiaries give the thumbs up for their new sanitation platform! They’ll build walls and a roof in the coming days.

Project Result: Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and hard core (crushed rock and gravel). Accommodation and food for the artisan were provided, and a few people even volunteered their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the head wall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Excavating back from the spring eye

As the wing walls and head wall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the head wall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.

Lastly, the base of the spring was plastered and the collection box was cleaned. The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Community members then helped us plant grass and dig cutoff drains to direct surface water away from the spring box.

The artisan finishes up backfilling so no contaminants enter the water.

This process has transformed Lukoye Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation and fetch their first buckets of clean water. Mr. John Lukoye said, “As a community, we are so grateful for this project in our community. We thank God and we believe that it will go a long way in improving our livelihoods and reducing cases of waterborne diseases. We shall play our role as a community to ensure that the project is well-managed and maintained so that it can serve our community for a long time.”

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09/25/2017: Lutali Community Project Underway

Lutali Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Lukoye Spring, and often suffer from waterborne diseases. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report containing community information, pictures, and maps.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Lurambi, Sichirai, Shieywe, Lutali
ProjectID: 4736
Install Date:  11/29/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project


Project Sponsor - St. Therese Foundation

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.